“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.” Genesis 7:11-12, NIV
While our contemporary eyes have seen larger sea vessels, Noah's ark was a spectacular sight for his time. But why would anyone need so much space? To this question was added an onslaught of sarcasm, ridicule, and criticism when the news broke that the ark was purposed to escape imminent doom by way of a flood. How could it flood when it had never rained? It’s almost impossible to believe that there was a time when rain was…unbelievable.
Yet, Noah was undeterred. God had told him to make three decks of space for clean animals in sevens and unclean in twos as well as anyone who chose to take up residence in one of the rooms. Note, no one would have to hunt for a house. A spacious house was provided for those who, by faith, came aboard.
Yet, with only seven other names on the manifest, Noah might have wondered if the building was worth it. But, when that seven is your family, you count every second time well spent. Noah’s preparation for the very first rain underscores an important lesson for us today:
We walk by faith, not by sight.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. That’s a cute saying, but devoid of an inkling of truth. Words are powerful. If mismanaged, words can cause war, divide families, spoil opportunities, and rupture hope. Passersby launched tailor-made nicknames at Noah. Can you hear them? A human like you and me, Noah probably felt the sting of every callous comment and each coarse quip. And what could he say in response? How could he describe, explain, or prove what he’d never seen? But Noah knew that the surest anchor in life is not what one sees, but rather Who one knows. Noah believed God and trusted His revealed word.
Meanwhile, skeptics and scoffers “were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away” (Matthew 24:38, 39). Can you imagine the stupefied expressions on people’s faces as they looked up and saw water falling from heaven on top of their heads? Confused by the phenomenon and fearing its growing intensity, they tried securing the doors and windows of their homes. They hid under large trees. They climbed mountains to outrun the rising waters. But, there was no safety outside of the ark. In their frenzied attempts to save themselves, I can hear Mahalia Jackson singing that old, Negro Spiritual “Didn’t it rain, children? Didn’t it rain, oh, my Lord?” Oh yes, it rained just as God said it would.
My friend, don’t miss the boat. Noah accepted God’s provided means of salvation, and so should you because it won’t be rain, but fire next time. Stay tuned…
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. Hebrews 11:7
You’re already loved,
July 11, 2020